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Foundation takes possession of historic Woodville School property


The T.C. Walker and Woodville/Rosenwald School Foundation took possession of historic Woodville School on Tuesday, as the Economic Development Authority handed over the deed officially completing the acquisition.

The property, a 1921 structure with surrounding land on Route 17 at Hayes, was purchased for $50,000 and closed on July 17. Though it most recently served as a residence, Woodville began as a Rosenwald school.

Rosenwald schools were the result of a partnership between Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, then president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. It is estimated that, by 1928, one third of rural black students and teachers were taught in Rosenwald schools.

Following the 1954 decision by the Supreme Court declaring segregation in education unconstitutional, Rosenwald schools were phased out and largely forgotten.

At one time, 5,300 Rosenwald schools existed in rural communities across the South to educate black Ameri...

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